Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Clayton Ince admitted that he lost his temper with the national football team management but reiterated a desire to represent his country if selected.
Ince, who walked out on the national team three days before a World Cup qualifier away to Mexico on June 8, was not selected by coach Leo Beenhakker for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.
But the England-based goalkeeper insisted that he would make himself available for selection once more as soon as he recovers fully from a back injury.
Ince claimed to have said as much to Beenhakker in a private meeting two weeks ago at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Port of Spain.
"When I find a team and settle in, I would make myself available for national selection," said Ince, who is mulling over an offer from League Championship club Crewe Alexandra.
"Right now, I just want a rest and to get back to full fitness. After that, if they pick me, then great. If not, then so be it and all the best to the team."
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) is not unaccustomed to feuds with their star players and public fall outs with the likes of past and present team captains Dwight Yorke, David Nakhid, Russell Latapy and Shaka Hislop.
Ince, a former three-time Caribbean Player of the Year, joined that infamous list on June 5 when he returned his team uniform to manager Bruce Aanensen and informed him that he would not travel to Mexico the following day.
The experienced 32-year-old custodian was an unused substitute on Saturday June 4 when Trinidad and Tobago defeated Panama 2-0 in Beenhakker's first CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Ince admitted his demotion to the bench played a part in his decision to pull out the squad but insisted that he acted on a combination of issues and did not mean to slight Beenhakker or his replacement, Dundee goalkeeper Kelvin Jack.
"I have been benched plenty times before at Crewe or at Defence Force," he said. "I am not one to walk away from a challenge. It is not because of Jack. The coach picked who he thought was looking good and mobile in training and I respect that.
"Jack had a good game too (against Panama)." But Ince suggested that he looked inferior to Jack in training because of a back injury. On Tuesday, five days before the match at home to Panama, Ince allegedly told goalkeeping coach Michael "Brow" Maurice that he was not feeling well.
The following day, he said, his back went into spasms and he complained to team doctor, Dr Terrence Babwah, and physiotherapist, Zephyrinus Nicholas, who gave him two tablets.
It was not until Friday that he saw a specialist who, he claimed, properly treated his injury. By then, Beenhakker had already selected his team to face Panama. Ince attached no blame to Babwah or Nicholas but suggested that the T&TFF should do more to give their medical staff the right tools to do their job.
Ince also claimed to have had a disagreement with George Joseph, who is the team's assistant manager authorised to liaise with players, over match fees for the upcoming qualifiers. The goalkeeper asked to see the contract stipulating his fees, which he thought was subject to change because of the new coaching regime. Ince suggested that showing an employee what he is working for should be a matter of courtesy but, he alleged, Joseph refused. By Sunday, Ince said his frustrations got the better of him and he vented to Aanensen.
"I said I was fed up of being treated like a junior player when I am a senior man," he said. "I felt like I was not being treated with respect and with my back hurting and being left out, I decided to pull out. I was pissed off with the whole situation. And not just me but I felt that all the players deserve more respect.
"Also I knew I was out of contract (with Crewe Alexandra) and if I got injured then who would see about me? So I decided to see about myself because when you look at players like Carlos (Edwards) and Gary (Glasgow), you know that no-one (from the T&TFF) will see about you when you are injured."
Ince said that, on June 5, he no longer felt like risking injury to serve as Jack's deputy. Yet, he would have played if asked.
He denied there was any contradiction between the two statements. "I wasn't 100 per cent fit but, if called upon, like any other player, I would play," he said. "Hardly any player would say no, given the choice. You always want to play."